Real, not perfect

Stephanie Coleman

Book - 2021

"Tessa has lived a trouble-free life as the only child of two loving parents--she is well-liked, gets straight As, is on the competitive swim team, and is active in her church youth group. It's a pretty perfect life! That is, until she comes home from swim practice one day to find that her parents are divorcing. Along with that, her BFF has moved to Florida, and Tessa gets stuck in Intro to Drama--possibly the worst class ever! Soon Tessa's mom sinks into despair and Tessa struggl...es with her anger and hurt. Meanwhile, her BFF posts fabulous pictures of her new life on Instagram. Tessa thinks that everyone's posts show lives that are way better than the one she has. Why does it seem like everyone else's life is more perfect than hers? Find out how Tessa's new friends from Intro to Drama and Alex, her true-blue friend, help her discover that real is better than perfect."--from Amazon.com.

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Series
Riverbend friends ; bk. 1.
Genres
Young adult fiction
Christian fiction
Novels
School fiction
Published
Colorado Springs, CO : Focus on the Family 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
232 pages ; 21 cm
Audience
Recommended for ages 12-16.
ISBN
9781589977044
1589977041
Main Author
Stephanie Coleman (author)
Other Authors
Lissa Halls Johnson, 1955- (creator)
Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Tessa of Riverbend, IN, finds herself in a situation that she never dreamed would breach the walls of her religious family. Her father is having an affair with a former sweetheart with whom he connected over Facebook, and to make matters worse, the woman is pregnant. Tessa's best friend, Mackenzie, is moving to Florida, and her friend/crush Alex seems to have eyes for everyone but her. Tessa, always known as the perfect girl, tries to pretend that everything is ok, when the truth is far from it. Dad has chosen Rebecca over Tessa and her mom; mom is broken; Mackenzie attempted suicide after her move to Florida; and Tessa is stuck in a drama class that makes her feel even more out of place. Coleman adeptly delves into a topic that affects many families. This book reveals the many emotions and scenarios that can occur when children and their families go through divorce. Tessa must learn to accept that life and people are not perfect, but they are real and that Jesus puts people and events in your life at just the right time so they can "help you swim." Coleman intertweaves themes of depression, mood swings, and suicide in a nuanced and thoughtful way. Tessa and her family are cued as white, and background characters are of various ethnicities. VERDICT Recommended for Christian fiction shelves.—Susan Harris, Ridgeway H.S., TN Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Tessa of Riverbend, IN, finds herself in a situation that she never dreamed would breach the walls of her religious family. Her father is having an affair with a former sweetheart with whom he connected over Facebook, and to make matters worse, the woman is pregnant. Tessa's best friend, Mackenzie, is moving to Florida, and her friend/crush Alex seems to have eyes for everyone but her. Tessa, always known as the perfect girl, tries to pretend that everything is ok, when the truth is far from it. Dad has chosen Rebecca over Tessa and her mom; mom is broken; Mackenzie attempted suicide after her move to Florida; and Tessa is stuck in a drama class that makes her feel even more out of place. Coleman adeptly delves into a topic that affects many families. This book reveals the many emotions and scenarios that can occur when children and their families go through divorce. Tessa must learn to accept that life and people are not perfect, but they are real and that Jesus puts people and events in your life at just the right time so they can "help you swim." Coleman intertweaves themes of depression, mood swings, and suicide in a nuanced and thoughtful way. Tessa and her family are cued as white, and background characters are of various ethnicities. VERDICT Recommended for Christian fiction shelves.—Susan Harris, Ridgeway H.S., TN Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Real, Not Perfect is the first book in a series that travels alongside four friends as they deal with teen life in Riverbend, Indiana. The novel inspires girls and young women to deepen their relationships with God and solve their problems in God-honoring ways.Tessa has lived a trouble-free life as the only child of two loving parents—she is well-liked, gets straight As, is on the competitive swim team, and is active in her church youth group. It’s a pretty perfect life! That is, until she comes home from swim practice one day to find that her parents are divorcing. Along with that, her BFF has moved to Florida, and Tessa gets stuck in Intro to Drama—possibly the worst class ever!Soon Tessa’s mom sinks into despair and Tessa struggles with her anger and hurt. Meanwhile, her BFF posts fabulous pictures of her new life on Instagram. Tessa thinks that everyone’s posts show lives that are way better than the one she has. Why does it seem like everyone else’s life is more perfect than hers? Find out how Tessa’s new friends from Intro to Drama and Alex, her true-blue friend, help her discover that real is better than perfect.